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National Assembly Passes Bill To Make June 12 Democracy Day – Sweetloaded
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The Senate on Thursday concurred with the Public Holiday Act (Amendment) Bill passed by the House of Representatives, which approved June 12 as the new Democracy Day.

This followed a presentation of conference report by Leader of the Senate, Sen. Ahmad Lawan, at plenary on Thursday.

In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki put the conference report to a voice vote and it was adopted by the lawmakers.

NAN reports that in the bill, which was passed by the House of Representatives on Nov. 26, 2018, the current democracy date, which is May 29, was deleted and replaced with June 12.

On June 12, 1993, the presidential election was held and adjudged to be the freest in the country’s history.

However, the results were annulled by the then Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.

In the process of reclaiming his mandate, one of the presidential candidate who was reported to have polled most votes, Mr. Moshood Abiola lost his life.

NAN reports that 25 years after, President Muhammadu Buhari in 2018, announced that the nation’s Democracy Day would hold on June 12 of every year as against current arrangement where the ceremony holds on May 29.

The National Assembly however needed to amend the public holiday act to give the directive a legal backing, to make it binding.

Meanwhile, the Senate concurred with five other House of Representatives bills.

They are: Federal Capital Territory Area Councils Service Commission, Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency, Projects Development Agency Enugu PRODA, Data Protection Bill.

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Atiku Raises Loud Alarm On Prevalence Of Poverty In Nigeria

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The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the February 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, on Saturday said the recent report by the United Nations Development Programme, published on July 11, which said that over 98 million Nigerians were living in multi-dimensional poverty, was frightening.

He said the report indicated that poverty had become the fastest growing venture in Nigeria over the last four years.

The former Vice President, in a statement by his media adviser, Paul Ibe, said there was an urgent and compelling need for institutions of the Nigerian state to understand that it was an appalling dereliction of duty to stand idly by and allow misery multiply in the populace.

According to him, this was no longer a grassroots problem.

“The failure of our economy over the last four years affects everyone from top to bottom. Four years ago, Aliko Dangote, Nigeria’s richest man, was worth $25bn. However, his net worth in 2019 is less than half that. He joined thousands of industrialists whose wealth and their ability to produce, had eroded in recent years, and continue to do so.
“With the National Bureau of Statistics reporting a net job loss of over six million since 2015, we see that if industrialists have their wealth eroding, it affects their ability to create opportunities, which means that the trickle-down effect gradually dries.”
Atiku stated that the greatest national security threat Nigeria faced in 2019 was not Boko Haram/ISWAP or bandits but the ‘creation of the largest wave of poverty in human history in the country.’
He warned that the world was noticing, hence Foreign Direct Investment was shifting from Nigeria to Ghana, making Ghana the top recipient of FDI in West Africa in the last year.

He said, “And in the wake of this report by the UNDP, we are greeted with nonchalance by those who led us into this crisis. It is as though they think that as long as they and their families are not amongst those 98 million extremely poor Nigerians, things can carry on as before.

“But that cannot be allowed to be the case. Those who have the ability, including the Council of State, all former leaders, elder-statesmen, and especially the other arms of government, must begin to collaborate for solutions before the number increases from 98 million to all 198 million Nigerians.

“We must remember that we are stakeholders in the Nigerian project; stakeholders who must speak up for those 98 million people who are losing their voices to poverty.”

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